Colombia Celebrates 201 Years of Independence

Bogota, Jul 20 (Prensa Latina) The Colombian people are celebrating 201 years of independence on Wednesday with a military parade and a variety of cultural events, for which security was stepped up all over the country.

Military sources said the parade, which will be attended by President Juan Manuel Santos and foreign diplomats, will begin at 10:00 local time (15:00 GMT) in historical Bolivar Square.

The parade, which will be guarded along the entire route, will feature the various branches of the armed forces, and the Air Force will provide an air show in the capital.

To prevent any public disturbances during the July 20 celebrations, several streets in downtown Bogota will be closed off with patrols and searches in the area, it was reported.

Security measures also will be in effect in other cities where cultural activities and civic/military parades are planned.

Congress will open its ordinary session in the afternoon. Colombia won its independence after a long, bloody struggle, part of a conflict that lasted throughout the first quarter of the 19th Century to free the land that was called Nueva Granada and is now Colombia.

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